Double vision

Venomous views refuse to see Tea Party for what it is

Imagine going to a movie with two friends – and having one of them think they’re seeing a horror film, the other a comedy, while you thought you’d just seen a documentary.

This is the everyday experience of the Tea Party.

The “mainstream” media and those who believe their hogwash seem to think the Tea Party is – well, here’s a description from Jeff Daniels’ character in the HBO left-wing drama The Newsroom:

“Ideological purity, compromise as weakness, a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism, denying science, unmoved by facts, undeterred by new information, a hostile fear of progress, a demonization of education, a need to control women’s bodies, severe xenophobia, tribal mentality, intolerance of dissent and a pathological hatred of the U.S. government. ...

“They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives and they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban.”

If you didn’t know any better, you might believe this piffling propaganda. In which case, you see a horror flick.

If you’ve been around actual Tea Partiers, or you are one, you’d know that such depictions of the movement are as laughable as any Steve Martin comedy.

The “mainstream” media have imagined this stuff, pure and simple.

Check it out for yourself.

The modern Tea Party was born of a grassroots frustration with government spending that became acute in the final days of the Bush administration and first months of the Obama administration. The movement’s name was inspired by an on-air rant by financial network CNBC’s Rick Santelli, who – out of frustration with the Obama administration’s plans to bail out some homeowners – whimsically suggested staging a Tea Party protest reminiscent of the Revolutionary era’s.

Millions of good, patriotic, concerned citizens found their rallying cry and coalesced into the loose-knit Tea Party movement.

They come from all walks of life, but they believe in one thing collectively: The federal government’s size and spending are out of control, and must be reined in, if this country is to be saved from itself.

Period. That’s the beginning, the end and the everything-in-between of the Tea Party movement.

Again, this is a bottom-up movement, so the various incarnations of it around the country are fairly self-directing. But a good summary of the movement can be found at www.teaparty-platform.com.

You will notice in the platform, or at any Tea Party event you attend, that there’s nothing about “denying science” or “demonization of education” or “a need to control women’s bodies.”

Moreover, we’ll put the Tea Party’s record of civility and lawfulness up against the left-wing Occupy movement’s any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

That little girl Virginia, who famously wrote to a New York newspaper in 1897 to ask if there is a Santa Claus, noted in her letter: “Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’”

To all the little Virginias of today: We’re so sorry to share this little dose of adult reality – but these days, if you see anything in the media about the Tea Party, you need to double check it.

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